There is no such thing as 'away.' When we throw anything away, it must go somewhere.

Eco-Service: Solid Waste Management

Auroville's EcoService manages solid waste for the international township of Auroville. An EcoService team collects waste from households, communities, guest houses, restaurants and units, and another team processes it at a sorting shed in Kottakarai. Waste is then either sold to recycling dealers, or landfilled at the Auroville landfill.

Waste Management
Of Auroville's Waste is Collected
Year of Starting
Categories Waste Segregation
Upto 82
Team Members
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Aims and Objectives

Collecting and Processing

  • To collect all solid waste generated by the community, as well as pick litter along main roads and public areas
  • To process all solid waste generated by the community, recycling as much of the waste as possible
  • To ensure overall that the community's waste has as little impact as possible on the environment

Network and Outreach

  • To lead by example in positive solid waste management practices within the bioregion
  • To network by acting as an umbrella group, connecting all waste-management related activities

Awareness Creation and Education

  • To generate awareness among Aurovilians about the importance of responsible waste disposal and to work with them to create proper waste disposal systems in households and communities
  • To work towards a "zero waste" policy
  • To work with schools to develop and promote curriculum on waste
  • R & D - To become a center of research in waste
  • To promote 'waste to energy'
  • To promote the innovation of products made out of waste and help to develop this market

EcoService's primary goal is to minimize as much as possible the impact of Auroville's waste on the environment. It pursues this goal by recycling as much of the community's waste as it can, and landfilling as little as possible.

At present, EcoService collects waste from approximately 2/3 of the Auroville population, while 1/3 of Aurovilians choose other methods for disposing of their waste. But of the waste collected by EcoService, about 72% is recycled and 28% landfilled.

If you feel interested in details about our work and solid waste management in general, check out the solid waste management page of our website.

Workers first segregate waste collected from households and the community in the Auroville township.
Waste Segregation

Eco services request residents and communities to segregate their waste at source in as less as 6 and as many as 13 categories. Some of the basic segregation categories are:

  • Paper
  • Plastic
  • Metal (Aluminium, Copper is maximum)
  • Glass (Broken and unbroken separately)
  • Non-recyclable
  • Sanitary
  • Tetrapack
  • Thermocol
  • Cardboard
  • Leather
  • Batteries
  • Tyres

The Ammas (local ladies) doing secondary segregation re-segregate the waste into as many as 82 categories from the initial separation. This ensures the right waste can reach the right recyclers. Eco Service stores this waste and drops it off at the right recycling locations once an optimum quantity is reached.

Non-recyclable plastic is shredded, mixed with cement and used to build walls.

Old bottles used to deck up a wall on the premises.

Initiated in 1992 by Stefano, EcoService is currently managed by four executives, one coordinator, one driver, two collectors, and six waste-sorters.

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See Also